Okaloosa County Transit offers free rides

Special to The Log

Okaloosa County Transit (OCT) will offer free rides on Thursday, June 19, in celebration of National Dump the Pump day. The effort, sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, is designed to encourage people to try transit and to highlight the benefits of public transportation.  

In addition to offering free rides to everyone, OCT is also sponsoring a commuter challenge for local businesses. This challenge, designed to increase awareness of the system and to encourage friendly competition among local establishments, is open to any local business. Commuter challenge participants will track the number of employees who ride OCT on June 19, and the business with the highest percentage of participation will be named the winner.

Although OCT participates in Dump the Pump annually, the Commuter Challenge initiative comes at a time when the system has named a new program manager and is ramping up community engagement efforts. Bob Berkstresser, who took the wheel in May, is excited about Dump the Pump and the Commuter Challenge.

“Public transportation plays a crucial role in reducing traffic build-up, which is a major concern for our community,” said Berkstresser. “I’m proud of the fact that every day, OCT is working to alleviate traffic congestion, and I’m thrilled to get our local businesses on board. This commuter challenge is a great way to educate local workers about OCT routes and services. We’re looking forward to working with our community leaders to expand and improve service, and I cannot wait to see which businesses will be named our inaugural winner.” 

Residents and visitors of Okaloosa County can ride any OCT bus to any destination for free all day. For information about routes and schedules or to become a participant in the Commuter Challenge, visit or call Bob Berkstresser at 850-833-9168.